When I was younger (eons ago), each game I played was a discovery and the internet wasn’t something like it is now, where we live in the era of information. There was no way to get info on a game until you got it in your hands, or by listening to the kids that had it and you then obtained a general idea of what they were talking about, then begged your parents to buy you X game (or buy it yourself if you could). Nowadays the sense of discovery has been somewhat lost in videogames. Thanks to extensive tutorials and handholding and the many guides found on the internet, the sense of wonder is almost lost, or at least that is what I thought until I got to play Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus. If I could describe it in a simple way, Chronicles of Teddy is the child of The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Super Metroid, and this child is beautiful!!!!
You start the game playing a game (gameception), but then a power outage occurs which makes you go down to your basement whre your floating teddy bear hovers toward the portal of the land of Exidus. You learn of the impending doom, so you take your sword and shield and thus you start your adventure. I have to say that I love metroidvania style games, and this takes me back to the sense of wonder and discovery long forgotten. In Chronicles of Teddy you have to explore and search for answers and when you find them, you can’t help but feel excited to see what’s next. Your flying Teddy gives you some hints in the beginning but after that it all depends on you. The Musicom instrument opens a whole new world, since the inhabitants of Exidus communicate through music, and whenever you encounter one you can hear some soothing tunes and see the subtitles with the meaning of those tunes, which in turn get added to your Lexicon (your dictionary). Some might say that this is tedious but I find it quite charming, and its use for solving puzzles is a good chance of pace,from what we are used to. One particular example is in the first world (book) there is a Guardian that asks what you want, and after that asks for the “magic word” (remember kids “Please”and Thank You” open all the doors). For me this showed me that the best was yet to come.
Graphically the game looks amazing, the pixel art is gorgeous to look at, and the level of detail in each world is incredible. From simple details as the brightness of some fireflies that can be found in the Forest, to the water palace of Hazaura, you can see that the devs did not leave anything to chance. The contrast of the colors, and the way your character moves all blend together to give a world full of life and lively details. And speaking of details, I was particularly fond of finding action figures of two warriors from certain planet, just saiyan of course ;).
The music is really good also and it complements the game perfectly. The tunes in each area, the sounds of the musicom, and how the inhabitants of Exidus interact is really something to behold. The music never gets old or overstays its welcome so for me the purpose was met.
Bottom Line Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus is a pleasant surprise. It renewed my passion for the genre, it showed me that the sense of discovery and wonder still lives on. The feeling of excitement for finding the next upgrade to move further and reach previously unavailable places is something that not every game can give. I can’t recommend Chronicles of Teddy enough. It is a brilliant game, and if you like metroidvania style games, you are are going to have a blast, and if you don’t, then know that you are missing out.
Sometimes there is a game that you expect to be a decent game. You think it will be good for a while and like it and move on. When you finally play that game however, you are shocked how well it triggers nostalgia for classic games in you, while simultaneously amazing you with new ideas. Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus is one of those major surprises, and one I am happy to have found.
The game almost immediately made me think of classics such as Zelda 2 ( my all time favourite NES game and favourite Zelda game) and it did that in a good way. It brought the classic feel back but in a way that felt fresh and new to me. The pixel art was nothing short of amazing and the game is one of the most breathtaking I have seen ever seen done in that style.
The gameplay is simple yet complex but more importantly, it does not hold your hand at all. The game lets you learn as you go and you will find yourself constantly finding new things to do. The game gives you a ton of questions, and it is up to you to find the answers. The best part about that? You will have an awesome time doing that. The game is hard but not insanely frustrating. The challenge is the exact right level and is perfectly balanced for both veterans of gaming and new gamers wanting to try this kind of game for the first time.
I often here that games that trigger nostalgia in the player are a bad thing, but I have to disagree. Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus triggers nostalgia, at least for me, but it adds its own way of doing things, such as a system where you have to collect runes to communicate with NPCs and handling combat in an interesting way. The items you will get, are fun to use and really make the experience better. This type of game may trigger nostalgia in you, but its what the game itself has to offer you that you will remember the most.
I have to recommend this game and give it my highest approval!